Already a member? Log In

A Clinton Revival & Pelosi’s Last Laugh

Hillary Clinton
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Tara Palmeri
September 19, 2022

In retrospect, perhaps the apotheosis of the Clinton era wasn’t manifested in the various peace accords or legislative triangulations of his administration, and not even the booming economy or the now-quaint bipartisan squabbling with Newt. Instead, the height of the high-minded, high-powered, high-volume deal culture would be concocted years later in the formation of the Clinton Global Initiative, which, depending on one’s politics, generally appears either as a powerful platform for worldwide social engagement or a palm-greasing McKinsey mosh pit of E.S.G.-fluent International Baccalaureate-credentialed bankers.

During the Bush and Obama years, C.G.I. may have practiced a bit of both, and its annual global confab became an utterly unique amalgamation of Davos, the Met Ball, Inauguration Day and a Kardashian wedding. Then, alas, the event was tabled after 2016, perhaps to avoid the unpleasant optics during Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president. And it remained off the calendar, perhaps as a reflection of the Clintons’ uncertain standing in the world, post-email server, post-Trump, post-Epstein, post-Ryan Murphy’s creatively brilliant, if commercially underwhelming, Impeachment: American Crime Story, which applied a new cultural filter to the victimhood of Lewinsky, as portrayed by Beanie Feldstein.